In the aftermath of several recent fatal accidents involving Brightline trains in South Florida, the Federal Railroad Administration will convene to hold a meeting with rail operators in the region and local law enforcement officials to discuss safety efforts.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, parties at the meeting will include Brightline, Amtrak, CSX and Tri-Rail, as well as various local political officials and law enforcement agencies.
On February 13, Brightline had its seventh fatal accident since resuming operations in November. At one point there were four accidents in a four-day period. This includes several cases in which vehicles were hit by drains after impatient drivers decided to drive around crossing gates.
FRA indicates responsibility has not been on operators
Despite the recent surge in train accidents in southern Florida, FRA spokespeople were quick to point out that “none of the tragic accidents involving grade crossings and trespassers resulted from the railroad’s failure to comply with federal regulations.”
Still, local rail leadership will be interested in discussing additional safety measures that can be implemented, as well as public service announcements and campaigns that can be conducted to increase awareness and education about safety at grade crossings.
In the meantime, drivers must beware of rail crossings and should never attempt to get around a gate once it is lowered. Trains are faster than many drivers waiting at stops realize, and when the gate comes down it is absolutely not safe for any driver or pedestrian to try to get across. The prospect of saving a few minutes is not at all worth the risk of loss of life that comes with a train collision. The train operator will not be able to stop if they see someone in the way.
For more information about train crossing safety and liability, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.